Friday, November 27, 2020

Ibrahim Khalil Shihab's Spring reissued


Cape Jazz Classic blooms again 

South Africa’s lost jazz history contains many an overlooked classic. But even within that hidden tradition, there are few albums that suffered such an unlucky fate as Spring, the monumental 1968 debut album by pianist Ibrahim Khalil Shihab, formerly Chris Schilder. 

Though Shihab was only twenty-two when Spring was recorded, he was already a lynchpin of the Cape Town scene, and the album was to be his first major statement as leader and composer. It is a magnum opus gilded by the presence of the upcoming saxophonist Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi, who was soon to find huge acclaim with the hit album Yakhal’ Inkomo

Three months of touring southern Africa in 1968 honed the band to the point that this entire album was recorded within the just two hours of allocated studio time. This album was repressed just once before the master tapes were destroyed by an ignorant record company executive. While it has remained out of print since then, the album was ‘kept alive’ as an ‘add-on’ to a 1996 CD of Mankunku’s Yakhal’ Inkomo. As a result, many modern jazz lovers still incorrectly believe these five compositions come from Yakhal’ Inkomo.

With this edition of Spring, Matsuli Music corrects an historic wrong. This edition of Shihab’s stunning debut, produced with the blessing of the man himself, is the first time it has been properly available in over forty years, and the first time it has ever been available outside South Africa. Restored and presented with new liner notes by Valmont Layne, Spring can now be seen for what it is: a peerless masterwork of Cape Jazz, blessed by the presence of the great Mankunku, but truly animated by the subtle vision and original musical spirit of its creator, Ibrahim Khalil Shihab. 

Available now at:


Monday, June 22, 2020

Dudu Pukwana + Zorro Five + Busi Mhlongo OUT NOW ON VINYL & DIGITAL

Matsuli Music is please to announce the release of three new albums: Dudu Pukwana's debut album from 1969, Zorro Five's mod obscurity from 1970 and for the first time on vinyl Urban Zulu from Busi Mhlongo.

These are available for purchase here:

You can also listen to the albums on most digital platforms from today!

Monday, December 02, 2019

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Moses Taiwa Molelekwa's Genes and Spirits available now for pre-orders

Genre-busting South African jazz meets kwaito meets Cuba (Chucho Valdez), Brazil (Flora Purim, Cameroon (Brice Wassy) and Bristol (drum 'n' bass). 
"Think Robert Glasper - only ten years earlier"
Gwen Ansell
"Helped define the new cool"
The Guardian

Deluxe double gatefold LP with new photographs, new liners and an exclusive track.

Available now from

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ten and Counting with Witchdoctor's Son from Okay Temiz and Johnny Dyani

Matsuli Music is proud to be releasing another forgotten gem of the South African jazz diaspora – the 1976 Istanbul session featuring Johnny Dyani and Okay Temiz fusing deep roots and new routes, integrating folklore and rhythm within an experimental, avant-garde vision of love and life.

Remastered by Frank Merrit at the Carvery, Witchdoctor’s Son is presented as a deluxe gatefold sleeve including new liner notes by Francis Gooding uncovering more of Dyani’s creative collaborations with Temiz. Also included are previously unpublished photographs by Hank O’Neal.

Available for the first time since Yonca Records originally released only 1000 copies in Turkey, this album has remained an elusive and sought after landmark in South African exile Johnny Dyani’s discography.

The recording captures a complex, funky and musically together exploration of folk themes, jazz messages and popular directions. After many years together discovering both South African and Turkish sources, Temiz and Dyani were intimately versed in each other’s traditions. Side one features material arranged by Temiz, and the second has material arranged and composed by Dyani – including a stunning arrangement of Don Cherry’s Elhamdulilhah Marimba with Dyani on piano and voice.


180gram vinyl with remastered sound, new sleeve-notes and unseen photographs in a deluxe gatefold edition
Release date: 18 September

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pacific Express 1976 debut Black Fire remastered, repackaged and reissued

Matsuli Music is proud to announce the re-issue of Black Fire, the 1976 debut album of legendary Cape Town jazz funk band Pacific Express. The band was home to jazz musicians Chris Schilder, and Basil ‘Manenberg’ Coetzee as well as fusion and soul musicians Robbie Jansen, Issy Ariefdien, Paul Abrahams, Jack Momple and Zayn Adam.
This album is hard evidence of that 1976 musical moment in which Pacific Express forged an entirely new South African sound and musical identity out of what was ‘Cape Town Jazz’, Latin, R&B, soul, pop and fusion. 

From the political heat of 1976 come the militant, upbeat and irresistible funk tracks Black Fire and Brother - where singer Zayn Adam calls out for hope and optimism in spite of present difficulties. The pace moves down a gear for heart-felt ballads and Latin-tinged jazz instrumentals. Group leader Chris Schilder, after his deep jazz beginnings with Winston Mankunku Ngozi and the cream of Cape Town’s jazz crop had already spent some time with seminal black fusion group The Drive in the early seventies. Black Fire lays down a fusion of jazz funk and soul that was later picked up on and developed by Spirits Rejoice and others.

Black Fire presents the core repertoire that made Pacific Express the resident band sensation they became at the Sherwood Lounge in Manenberg, Cape Town in the mid-seventies. The ‘coloured’ township of Manenberg – about 20km away from Cape Town’s city centre, and cut off from the black settlements of Gugulethu and Nyanga by a railway track – had been officially established in 1966, based on the apartheid regime’s belief that what they defined as different “racial groups” could not live harmoniously together. Residents had been forcibly removed from and ‘relocated’ from the various suburbs now being allocated to ‘white’ people. Manenberg and surrounds were “quite a rough place” reflects Chris Schilder (now Ebhrahim Kalil Shihab).  “But the Sherwood Lounge was located close to the highway, so people could come in without getting mixed up in whatever was a happening on the streets. And once we opened – people flocked.”
Matsuli Music is proud to add the debut album of this Cape Town ‘supergroup’ among our growing catalogue of high-quality re-issues of classic South African afro-jazz on vinyl. New liner notes from acclaimed jazz historian Gwen Ansel claim this album as the first successful confluence of multiple styles delivering a uniquely South African but also globally accessible new musical expression.
Officially released on 1 June 2017

Monday, April 03, 2017

African Songbird Repressed

Available once more this is Sathima Bea Benjamin's 1976 masterpiece African Songbird. Its been repressed on 180g virgin vinyl in a single hard board cover and printed inner sleeve containing the new essay by Francis Gooding and portrait photograph by Ian Bruce Huntley. This follows numerous requests from customers who were unable to purchase copies of the first gatefold reissue we did in 2013. 

This is shipping now via our bandcamp site here and will be in global independent record stores soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Black Disco's Night Express available now

“One of the labels deserving a big shout out is Matsuli Music.”

Matsuli Music continues its mission of restoring classic out-of-print South African afro-jazz with the release of this landmark album from Pops Mohamed’s Black Disco group. Originally entitled Black Discovery/Night Express, this was changed to avoid censorship.

Part Philly-soul, part Cape Jazz and part bump-jive, the album not only achieved instant acclaim in South Africa’s townships, its appeal tore right through apartheid’s racially defined boundaries. Along with bassist Sipho Gumede, saxophonist Basil ‘Manenberg’ Coetzee, and drummer Peter Morake, Black Disco were exploring a new hybrid sound. This music offered hope in the midst of growing repression. “It was our way of saying we are with you”, recalls band leader Mohamed.

Night Express – part of a series of ‘70s releases, three as Black Disco and two as Movement in the City – lives on as a declaration of musical identity from communities whose jazz histories have hardly been documented yet – the apartheid defined ‘coloured’ townships of Johannesburg’s East Rand.

“The name – Movement in the City - was code for let’s fight the system. It was a very dark time of us, personally and politically, and the two albums we made including Black Teardrops (another title the censors didn’t like) came from that emotional place.”

Increasingly, Mohamed’s searching took him towards his roots. “I figured that protecting and preserving our indigenous music could be my contribution to the struggle. We must know our heritage. I thought: if the Boers take that from us, we’re fucked.”

So Mohamed’s journey, which began as a boyish organ player doodling Timmy Thomas-style riffs on Night Express has now brought him to a role today as a kora master and producer, collaborating with Khoisan traditional healers and their music. But the Black Disco group was, for him, where it all started. 

A1. Yasmeen’s Blues 
A2. Night Express
A3. Super Natural Love 
B1. Oh Happy Day
B2. Echo On The Delay 
B3. Odds On

Pops Mohamed – Organ
Basil Coetzee – Flute, Tenor Sax Sipho Gumede – Bass
Peter Morake – Drums

Originally issued on the independent As-Shams/The Sun label in 1976.

Available at independent record stores and with a digital download code from

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